I can still remember this time so vividly. I look back and wish I had not been so angry and frustrated. It is what it is though and through out this story you should be able to feel the real emotions we were going through at the time.
Reflecting Back on 2005
Well we spent a couple days at the lovely Sugarite Campground. The view was really pretty!
Jonathan and I went to get some water at the bottom campground. On the way back I noticed a hiker. He was looking at that hill like, Oh I don't think I can make it. I stopped the car and asked if he wanted a ride to top. He just smiled and said YES! He had been hiking all morning and by that time had pretty much over done it. His name was George from Trinadad, CO., for 70 yrs old he looked in good shape to be hiking all over the mountain! I drove him up to his campsite and he said "Wait here". So I waited and he came back with 10 dollars. I said, " Oh I don't need money for giving you a ride up here!" He said, "Well you are on a Wing and Prayer, please take this it will pay for a night of camping somewhere." So I kindly thanked him and took the money.
The next morning we were getting ready to head out and George drove by. He stopped and called Granny over to his truck and handed her a ten dollars! He said,"I just found this on the road!"
We got all our stuff together and proceeded to head farther into New Mexico. Granny said, "This isn't the place!" So we looked at the map and noticed there were several campgrounds around Las Vegas, NM. Off we went.
Uggg! The campground for tents had no trees! It was hot as all get out and to boot Granny only wanted to pay 10 dollars so we would have had to leave one car out in the parking lot! Here we go again!
This time we drove to Sapello. There was a gas station and that was about it. Oh I forgot to mention that my Jeep only got 10 mpg! Money was running out fast with all this driving. Well there was a campground at Maur Lake. So off we go to try and find that. OMG, the road sign said, "Not recommended for RV traffic" Okay well we are not RV's...later we found out it should have read, " NOT REALLY PASSABLE AT ALL!" Anyway the lake was suppose to be just 10 miles. About an half hour later or so I found the road to the lake...Now I had a four wheel drive and I tell you I have driven on some bad ass roads, steep roads, curvy roads etc....This one took the cake! It was so steep I was going backwards in drive! I was getting a bit spooked at this point and put the car in reverse and somehow managed to get turned around. I got back to where Granny was and told her NO FUCKIN WAY! She had taken longer to get there, because her car was low to the ground and she had to keep getting out and moving big ass rocks so she could continue to follow me. I did not realize that! So many curves that I lost track of her. lol
Well by now I am out of gas and its like 20 miles or so back to the gas station. So back down the gravel,bumpy, rocky, curvy, holey road. I sat and waited 15 min. for Granny to catch up. The whole time looking at that damn sign that said, "Not recommended for RV traffic" If I would have had some paint I would have changed it right then and there! lol
We get back to the gas station and of course its nearing dark once again. I get desperate and call a friend who happens to work at my dream ranch "Surprise Valley Ranch" This ranch I had seen in a magazine like 4 yrs prior and I always kept a picture of it on my refrigerator. I had also talked to the manager at the ranch a few times. He said he had a bunk house with a couple beds in it and to come on up. He gave me directions. My Mom was pissed! She said do you know what those roads are like? I said, NO! but they are paved except the last mile! lol And besides its a place to shower and stay the night for free so you don't have to spend your 10 bucks!
Ummm ya at this time things are getting a bit testy! lol So we drive the 10 miles(took 30 min) to get to Surprise Valley Ranch. It was so beautiful and I was soooo tired! Finally I had actually got to a place I dreamed of going to and I am homeless, with my son , 3 dogs and following me is my Mom , her dog and CAT!
I get out of the car and probably stunk like a skunk! lol First thing Hal said, "Do you all wanna shower?" He showed us the bunk house and it was just that. Two beds, no bathroom just and outhouse, but hey he wasn't charging us! There was a little stream out front of it and the dogs of course went right for the water!
We first went to shower and get cleaned up. We had to drive down to the shower house. Boy that shower felt great! Granny was still pissed, so she didn't even shower! She was mad because Hal didn't want any pets in the bunk house.
Well when he first opened the door Candy, muddy feet and all proceed to run past him and me and jumped on every bed! HOW embarrassing! That's when he said no pets in the bunkhouse. Well we had to get out our blankets and pillows. Ate some supper and when it got dark Mom sneaks out and get her Cat and Dog and brings them in!! OMG...My dogs started barking, so I end up sleeping in the friggin Jeep with the stinky wet dogs! It was just a disaster.
The next day I get a lecture from Hal about how I didn't plan anything and I come there to try and find work and bring my MOM! lol He gave me some leads on some possible work and some advice. Then it was time to leave. Jonathan cried. He always wanted to live at Surprise Valley Ranch.
We head out of the ranch and its a beautiful day! We got to Las Vegas, NM and looked around and now Granny's car has a flat! So we stopped and she got a used tire for 20 dollars. Thanks George! He gave us just the amount we needed to get the tire. Well after browsing around Las Vegas we decide to head to Santa Fe. Granny said she did not really like Las Vegas, NM. So off we go. We headed out on the interstate and I was leading this time. I got tired of Granny always pulling over right after I would get the car up fast enough to pop it into to third gear. Well there she goes! Passes me! Dang it! I was cussing she pulled me over!
Okay so I will give her some credit here...ummm I had a flat and did not even know it! lol So now the problem comes, my spare tire is under neath the car! I have no clue how to get that thing off of there.
Two really nice guys stopped and were heroes for a day. They got the tire changed and guess what? Its low! The closest town is Pecos now. So we thank them and ask if we can give them some money for helping and they said , " No way you're on a Wing and Prayer" best of luck the rest of your journey! "
We made it Pecos and aired up the tire. Since we had more mountain country to drive through I stopped at Sam's to see if he could fix a tire. Well they had closed a few minutes before and were already in party mode! However he checked the tire and said it was trash...no way to fix it and he didn't have one to replace it with. He tried hitting on my Mom too! He asked me if Granny could be his girlfriend. They asked around to see if any place was for rent. Nothing really but a two bedroom trailer and no pets! So off we drive to Santa Fe.
We arrive in Santa Fe in time for the sunset. It was beautiful. We stopped at a gas station and Granny gets out and says, "This is it! This is where I want to live." I told her its really expensive to live here. I tried to call a landlord I had talked to but no answer. So we drove around and of course no campgrounds in Santa Fe! lol We got some food at Kentucky Fried Chicken and Granny said, "Well lets get a motel." Yay
Save that Yay! I went in and found a room, but she decided while I was in there that she didn't want to spend the money! Sooo off we go to the rest area outside Santa Fe. A sleepless night in the car! It sucked.
The next day Granny decides she wants to go to Albuquerque. I just rolled my eyes and said whatever! We get outside of there and she finally says okay we are both tired we should get a room! Well I get out again and the lady at the motel, says yes we can have all the pets and two rooms and check in now! With a discount! Only 70 bucks for two rooms and not check out till 1 pm the next day! It was 7 am...I was so loving that...dreams of a soft bed, a nice shower! I came out smiling, only to be pissed about a half a second later! Guess why she did not want to stay there! Nope not the money this time. There were no doors to the outside, there were hallways! to the doors!(I was so friggin MAD!)
Granny said,"Well there is a campground right over there" It will be cheaper. Yes, but we need rest and I need to get cleaned up if I am going to look for work. Ugggggg she had the money tho...so off we go to the campground. Its already HOT as hell and no shady spots at that campground! So we drive and drive and got lost! OMG blind leading the blind. I swear we drove 200 friggin miles, because Granny is now looking for 5 dollar a night campgrounds. HELLO its 2005 not 1965! lol
We drove and drove and ended back up at the first campground. We went to a different section and I was getting ready to set up. BUT oh noooooo....Granny said, "Hey I got the right directions for that cheaper campground, lets go there." If looks could kill, she would have been laying flat on the ground! Anyway I went to the grocery store and got some supplies. We headed off to the "CHEAP" campground. Well hell its clear up in the mountains! Its not 5 dollars but 10 dollars a car! If you have been following along you probably know what happens now! lol Yep Granny in action again. She talks them into 10 dollars a night.
Wow this is way way more than I thought , this is going to be at least 5 parts maybe 6! I am leaving you now with us at Jemez Campgrounds.
I made this graphic from one of the many pictures I took there.
Stay tuned for part 4! Jemez, Rain, Albuquerque ....and this is only half way through! :)